Boundaries and Consent
We've mentioned boundaries before; now, let's consider them more thoroughly. People often refer to the interests or activities they share with someone else as their "common ground." Fritz Perls, the father of Gestalt Therapy, calls this place where two people meet the "Mitwelt." This is a German term that means the middle world or middle land. It's the place where two people have a connection, where their lives come together.
The first of these diagrams represents two people who do not have any relationship--they are strangers. The second represents two people who have a relationship, who interact with each other on their common ground. Because we are people, not circles, each of our lives may overlap with someone else's in several areas. But--apart from certain special relationships, such as that of a parent with a young child--each person should remain an intact, distinct personality. They interact, they overlap, but they do not blend or merge.
The closer two people are, and the younger they are, the more blending and merging--the more crossing or blurring of boundaries--are likely to take place.